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Publicis to Remove Foot From Mouth

In an effort to recover from a recent bout of foot in mouth disease, Publicis CEO Maurice Levy is in discussion with three of four agency groups in China and India. He's looking to acquire between 51 and 100 percent of two agencies in India as well as increase the agency holding company's presence in China.

by Steve Hall    Dec-20-04    

Converse Recruits Fans and Filmmakers For Creative

Jumping on the "consumer-created," outsourced creative trend, Converse and its agency, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners have asked consumers and filmmakers to submit 24-second shorts for future use in television campaigns. The winner will receive $10,000. Painting the effort as opening a conversation with consumers, Converse VP of Global Marketing said, "We actually view our entire campaign as facilitating a conversation among those in our community." Whether the program brings Converse closer to its customers, gives between work filmmakers something to do or simply gets the shoemaker a lot of creative for free is up for discussion. What's clear is there will be a large body of work to choose from which, in the end, is not such a bad thing.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-04    

Gillette to Launch Vibrating Razor For Women

Upon hearing Gillette's plans to launch a battery-powered Venus Vibrance, some might not think it's a razor the company's talking about. Though, we trust Gillette did its market research on this product name before planning to spend $40 million promoting it.

The new Venus Vibrance, similar to the men's M3Power razor, sends vibrations to the skin which raises the hair for a closer shave.

Commenting on why women will pay a 15 percent price premium on the Vibrance, Leo Burnett's LeoShe Co-Founder Denise Fedewa said, "Women are very discerning shoppers, but they will pay more for something when it has some kind of benefit, tangible or intangible to them, that justifies paying more. When these products are out in display in your bathroom, you want it to look nice, feel good in your hands or go over contours better. " And putting the capper on the double-entendre's Gillette Blade and Razor President Peter Hoffman, commenting on the original Venus's recent price cut, said, "Our testing indicated that there is an upside potential to penetrate more razors at a slightly reduced price."

Penetrate more razors? We can only assume he meant, "increase our share of razors sold," Now back to your regularly schedule, PG-rated advertising news and commentary.

by Steve Hall    Dec-17-04    

Victoria Beckham in Chinese Charity Ad

Victoria Beckham will appear in a commercial for the Shanghai Charity Foundation, a group which helps raise awareness of children with leukemia. The ad will urge Chinese citizens to show more care for those with the disease. Foundation Spokesman Ma Zhongqi says the charity has raise $7 million and hopes to invite other international celebrities to participate in the Foundation's efforts.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-04    

Macromedia Enlists Diving Penguins For Holiday Card

As the holidays draw near, the amount of Flash animation holiday cards reaches a feverish pitch. This time, it's from Macromedia which has put together a penguin diving contest complete with judges and snide commentary. It was fun once we actually mastered the art of the dive.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-04    

Spread Firefox Places Two Page New York Times Ad

The Mozilla Foundation along with Spread Firefox placed a spread ad in today's New York Times to promote the Firefox browser and to thank the 50,000-strong Firefox community of supporters, developers and evangelists who created and promoted the product to over 11 million users. As Steve Rubel points out, this is an entirely consumer-driven marketing effort. If a group of people can get together, create a product and successfully get 11 million people to use it, "real" marketers should start looking over their shoulders in their own industries. View the full size ad image here.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-04    

Television's Savior: Place Shifting

Recently launched Sling Media believes programming and content be accessible on any digital device anytime, anywhere. The company plans to tie together the explosion of digital devices with an "embrace - not replace" approach to digital content management.

It's first product, due Q1 2005 and called the Slingbox Personal Broadcaster, is an intelligent device that allows people to enjoy live TV from any device, via any network, anywhere in their home or around the world. The Slingbox connects to and "placeshifts" content from any cable box, satellite receiver, or personal video recorder. The device,which falls into the growing home media server category, will attach to home entertainment systems, connect with programming received through cable, satellite, over the air or from a DVR, and deliver it via the Internet to other digital devices such as a computer, PDA or cell phone. The device will retail for $250 and will have no subscription fees.

For television, this could be the crutch medium been looking for. If this pans out, Sling Media, along with other media servers, will make it possible for television programming and, presumably, advertising, to be seen by a broader audience or at least, make it easier for the same audiences to "carry" their favorite shows around with them. TiVo and Replay have features where programming can be forwarded to a friend but Sling Media's approach appears to go further. It adds the anywhere component to TiVo's anytime feature.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-04    

Pam Anderson Makes Appearance in Chinese PETA Campaign

AFP Photo

While there have been recent cultural advertising blunders in China by some Publicis campaigns, we're assured by our Chinese insider this new PETA anti-fur campaign featuring Pam Anderson is culturally acceptable. We'll know for sure when PETA launches a billboard campaign, featuring the semi-nude Anderson, in Beijing and Shangai soon. "Im perfectly happy to bare my skin if it will help save animals skins," said Anderson. "With so many fashionable and comfortable fur alternatives available today, there's no excuse for killing animals and stealing their skins." PETA is targeting China because, as the country's economy grows, the group claims it has become the leading exporter of fur clothing to the United States accounting for 40 percent of US fur imports.

by Steve Hall    Dec-16-04    

Subservient Chicken Yields Subservient President Yields Subservient Blair

Just in time for a likely election this spring in the UK, we have Subservient Blair.

Oh yes. Just as in Hollywood, once success is achieved, as it was with Crispin's Subservient Chicken, it will be rammed down throats until it comes out the other end.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-04    

Looking For Commercials? Adland Has 20,000

Denmark-based Adland has hit the 20,000 mark.

The advertising-focused site run by åsk wäppling has collected over 20,000 commercials in its database. just because the site's located in Denmark doesn't mean it's not full of U.S.-based advertising. It is.

And tons of it. If you need access to any commercial, you're likely to find it here. It's two Euros per month to access the database. Money well spent.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-04    

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